One of the culminating efforts for Cohort 14’s, 18-month experience was to research and identify an innovative product or service (or redesign an existing product or service) for the bottom of the pyramid. As a team, they were to select the product or service and be prepared to present the target market, service concept, operations strategy and service delivery for your offering. Below is an overview of each groups presentation.
Good turn was created by Cohort 14 members Matt Wierenga, Dave Pickens, Desi Warner, and Adam Swiatek.
Their concept was to create a network of skilled individuals who have the opportunity to pay it forward with an act of kindness. Professionals fill out a survey identifying their skill set which then are added to a broader network list. These services would be beneficial to those in need or who may not be able to afford to pay for these services otherwise.
This company runs off of a give and take concept; looking at our community alone, there are 350,000 people who are in need, and 3.17 million with the skills to help.
These services would be accessed through a phone application or through the internet, and would work on a token system. Some of these e-tokens would be donated to charity, others sold to businesses that would gain promotion and online marketing from the experience. The e-tokens would then be distributed to those in need, who could exchange an e-token for a service they are in need of in the community.
The Kin~nected Hearts Foundation Empowering Families
This company was created by Cohort 14 members Julie Billy, Hakim Lucas, Lyndsey Denton, and Christy Reynolds.
Their concept was a company with a social enterprise focus and directed at those at the bottom of the World Pyramid, focusing specifically on single mothers of young children in Central Florida. A significant 68% of single parent households are living below the poverty line. Meanwhile, 85% of brain growth occurs in the first 3 years of life, yet 45% of center-based child care facilities do not offer infant and toddler care.
A social enterprise is an organization that has a mission that benefits the public or community; they utilize trade, of which a substantial portion of income comes from; and reinvest the majority of their profit into their mission.
Their mission statement is:
To serve the single mothers of young children in Central Florida by providing education, job placement, and support services, while providing high quality, on-site child care in a nurturing environment.
The company would offer support services, with a mentorship program, child care, job training, and job placement. This is an extremely unique offering as all of these services are provided in one location vs. what traditionally these single mothers face and that is having to go to individual agencies one by one to get their issues resolved.
Ms. Keeter Beater
This company was created by Cohort 14 members Jason Mejeras, Rachael Faircloth, Zineb Sands, and Janice Trew.
The goal of this company is to reduce the spread of diseases in the rural, southeast Asia region. Preventing illness and death from diseases is done through affordable sanitation and proper protection. They target families with school-age children 5-17, school teachers, healthcare providers, and those at the ‘bottom of the pyramid.’
A hygiene product combined with a bug protectant is used to reduce illness. It is made up of liquid citronella soap dried on paper which dissolves when water it is applied. This is then sold in small, local marketplaces. This is a unique offering as it is a solution that provides hygienic car
e plus insect repellant all in one. Also, they address sustainability as there is no waste of any kind or footprint left behind. The box the product initially comes in, is returned to the distributors for reuse, and the soap dried paper dissolves and disappears.
All three teams presented their very different products with passion, knowledge, and enthusiasm; however, our guest Alumni panel selected Ms. Keeter Beater as the company with the overall Most Innovative Product or Service. A huge congrats to their company for their creative and well-thought out plan which we all agreed could be implemented and solve a looming problem in this region!
We are so fortunate to have watched our students transform professionally and personally over the past 18 months. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for all of them!